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Celtics’ Robert Williams says Tacko Fall taught him to be patient

Robert Williams

Robert Williams’ talent was never a question. At 6-foot-10 with a ridiculous 7-foot-5 wingspan, effortless leaping ability, and borderline elite quickness for a player his size, he’s possessed the rough outline of a two-way impact player from the moment he caught the eyes of NBA scouts at Texas A&M.

More than anything else, it was the mental part of the game that caused Williams – once a potential top-five pick – to drop to the bottom of the first round in last year’s draft. When he subsequently missed an introductory press conference with the Boston Celtics due to oversleeping, igniting a flurry of memes and even inspiring a nickname, Williams’ supposed lack of commitment and focus became some of his most defining qualities.

Now that he’s had a chance to spend some time around Tacko Fall, though, perhaps “Time Lord” will soon overcome the mental hurdles that have plagued him at this early stage of his career. Asked what he’s learned playing alongside the Celtics’ towering Summer League center, Williams made it clear Fall’s approach to improving has rubbed off on him.

The 7-foot-7 Fall has been a fan favorite in Las Vegas, and not just because of his unfathomable size. He’s averaging 9.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks in just over 14 minutes per game, shooting an astounding 75.9 percent from the field. Fall’s path to NBA relevance is still a long one, but he’s clearly helped himself at Summer League.

Williams did, too, but his status with Boston is far more certain than Fall’s. Primed for major minutes due to the departures of Al Horford and Aron Baynes, Williams will have plenty of chances to show what he’s learned from his teammate in 2019-20.